STILLWATER — Tiffany Bias mostly calls it a coincidence. But the Oklahoma State point guard also acknowledges there's some additional motivation when going up against teams from her home state of Kansas.
And Bias, who grew up in the Wichita suburb of Andover, continued her dominant play this season against Kansas schools on Sunday afternoon, scoring 21 points and dishing out five assists in OSU's comfortable 63-44 victory over Wichita State at Gallagher-Iba Arena in the second round of the WNIT.
“Every game I come out hard,” Bias said. “But I think there's that extra boost when you play a team from your hometown, especially since you're a Kansas kid playing at Oklahoma Sate. I was excited, especially (because) it's Wichita, and that's where I'm from.”
The Cowgirls (18-12) move on to face Missouri State, a team they handled 80-57 in early December, at 7 p.m. Thursday at Gallagher-Iba Arena in the tournament's third round.
Bias' scoring output was her sixth 20-point game of the season, with three of those coming against Kansas schools. Eleven of her points Sunday came after halftime, including eight during OSU's decisive 21-6 run to close the game after the Shockers (20-13) had cut the Cowgirls' lead to 42-38 with 9:46 remaining.
OSU led by 19 on two different occasions, and creating that distance was largely because of its defensive effort. Wichita State, which entering Sunday ranked 13th in the nation in field goal percentage (44.5), shot just 35.3 percent from the field. OSU also held the Shockers' two leading scorers, guards Jessica Diamond and Haleigh Lankster, to a combined nine points on 4-of-17 shooting.
“I didn't think, until later in the game, we gave them many open looks,” OSU coach Jim Littell said. “When you force people to shoot from the perimeter with a hand in their face and (the shot is) contested, it's usually going to be where you're successful.”